An interest letter, or “letter of interest” is a kind cover letter used when applying for a job or entrance to a university. A letter of interest states your interest in a particular job or school and acts as your first chance to a make a positive impression. Writing a letter of interest in business letter format is essential, but the format does not indicate the type.
Traditional Cover Letter
A cover letter lets you “shake hands” with a potential employer, instead of just sending along your resume without any greeting. In this type of interest letter, you describe your qualifications and motivation in life and your enthusiastic interest in the job. The goal of the cover letter is to obtain an interview with the employer. Use the cover letter to identify the job you are applying for and discuss your qualifications in terms of the skills and knowledge you have that make you an asset.
Letter of Inquiry
A letter of inquiry is a type of interest letter in which the writer asks about the possibility of a job opening in the future. In your letter you express your interest in a job that may not have become available yet, but about which you are extremely enthusiastic and qualified to take on should it become available. Remember to write that you will contact the employer on a certain day to “learn about opportunities at X company” or “speak with you about positions that may become available this summer.” This is an especially useful letter of interest style for inquiring into internships.
Narrative Cover Letter
A story-like cover letter lets you show how your job experiences have prepared you for a particular position or university. For example, if you started as an intern at a retail store, got an advanced degree in fashion design, then worked for a top retail designer in Sydney, Australia and came back to the U.S., a narrative cover letter would outline this, and then explain why working at a particular position is a perfect fit for your experiences. Elaborate your experiences, but keep the narrative short.
The thank you letter after a job interview or a reply to your letter of interest acts as the follow through statement. The letter should address your appreciation for the interview or other follow-up, such as a phone call, and thank the recipient for his time. Thank you letters remind the employer about your application, which may be buried in under a pile of other applications. Send a thank you letter within 48 hours after contact with the recipient.
Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.